Even a favorite stay-at-home activity like watching Television can become lonely sometimes, especially if you’re used to hanging out with friends or family and watching altogether. Although you can stream and FaceTime, text, or share your display on Zoom, sometimes more is needed. Suppose you’re looking for a way to make your social-distancing series binge more social. In that case, there are browser extensions that let you host watch parties digitally.
Here are several apps to host movie nights with friends and family online, along with step-by-step instructions on how to begin watching.
To use these apps, you must subscribe to each service, and everyone watching must be signed into their account. These extensions work with your existing subscription to sync videos with friends and family members; they do not provide non-subscribers with free viewing.
A watch party feature that syncs up your streams with those of your friends and family and adds a chat box on one side of the display is known as Netflix Party. The app is only for customers with Netflix and is available for Chrome.
To Host a Netflix Party:
- Download Extension
- Open up Netflix and begin watching a video.
- The Netflix Party extension icon should turn red next to your address bar. Click on it.
- A window instructs you to “Create a Netflix Party.” You can give yourself total command over the playback or leave it open to all. Tap on “Start the party.”
- Another window will pop up with a new link. Tap “Copy URL” and share it with your friends and family. If you want to, you can find this link again by tapping the Netflix Party extension icon.
- Netflix Party will automatically generate an icon for you. You can change it per your requirement and your nickname by clicking on the icon.
To join an Existing Netflix Party:
- Click on the link.
- Click on the Netflix Party icon.
Amazon Watch Party
Many (but not all) Prime videos now have a Watch Party app on Amazon Prime Video. A total of 100 people can watch at the same time; all participants must be Prime members. It is only available on desktop computers and does not work with Safari or Internet Explorer browsers. Only the host can play, pause, rewind, or fast forward in this beta version.
Steps to Host an Amazon Prime Watch Party:
- First, visit the detail page of your chosen video, and you’ll see the “Watch Party” button available next to the “Watchlist” button. If it’s there, click on the button.
- In the right-hand column, decide what title to utilize within the chat and enter it. Tap on “Create Watch Party.”
- The video will be in the centre; your chat area and settings tab will be on the right. Under settings, you can copy and forward the Watch Party link to everyone or end the party.
To join an Amazon Watch Party:
- First, tap on the link your friend sent you.
- You’ll be redirected to Prime Video and prompted to enter a username. After that, click the “Join Watch Party” button.
Hulu Watch Party
With Hulu’s ad-free plans, you can host a virtual watch party for Hulu for up to eight people via live text chat. While the Watch Party feature is available with the (ad-free) Live TV plan, it cannot be used with Live TV content or content from premium add-ons. You can join from your profile, meaning that multiple people with the same account can use the Watch Party feature simultaneously. Users under the age of 18 are not permitted to join.
- Open up Hulu.com. Ensure you use the latest Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge version.
- Find a movie or show to watch. Only some videos are available to stream using the Watch Party feature. Furthermore, you may verify if a title is compatible with a watch party by looking for an icon showing three people. This is present on the Details page next to the “Start Watching” button.
- Once you’re on the Details page, click the Watch Party icon. Then, tap the “Start the Party” button in the pop-up window.
- Now, click on the link icon to copy it and send it to your friends and family so they can join your watch party. Additionally, ensure that you have an ad-free plan for the streaming platform.
- When you’re ready, click “Start Party.” To add people later, tap the link icon in the top right corner of the chat bar.
- Following that link, your guests will log in and get a notification acknowledging they’ve been invited to a Hulu Watch Party. Now by tapping on the “Join the Party” button, you can watch your Hulu favourites with your party pals.
- If you or your friends are out of sync, there’s a blue button available at the top of the chat bar prompting “Click to catch up” can sync up your video.